In the mountain village of Ganesh Than, in the Kavre district, the April/May earthquakes struck hard. An estimated 25 buildings, including many houses were destroyed and livestock including cows, goats and chickens killed. One elderly woman died, while in the surrounding villages it is estimated that around 35 lives were lost.
The first project for the World Youth International team has been to rebuild the primary school in Ganesh Than, a community that WYI has been working alongside for the past 5 years.
In a small mountainside clearing close to the worksite, two white tarpaulins have been strung up between trees, providing shade for a temporary school. For the past five months the students and teachers have taught and learnt on mats, without tables, chairs or blackboards and the remains of a derelict house nearby provide a constant reminder of why they are there.
Kavita, a local teacher says that school operations have been difficult since the earthquake. The students are uncomfortable sitting on the ground, the temporary space is more crowded, there is a lack of resources and attendance has dropped, with many of the older children staying at home to help their parents rebuild homes or with farm work.
The rebuilding of the school has been comprehensive, with the two internal walls knocked down and a trench dug around and through the entire site, with a new earthquake resistant support base. An estimated 9 tonnes of concrete has been mixed by hand with the support and supervision of national staff Dhan, Dawa and Thasber.
With the end of the monsoon season, the sun has returned with a vengeance and the team have been digging, moving and mixing in tough conditions. As a support, Kancha and his kitchen crew have been invaluable, keeping water supplies high and preparing delicious meals including pancakes for breakfast, pasta and chips for lunch and dhal bhat and buffalo meat for dinner.
In the coming week the team will be laying bricks for the external and internal walls, before finishing with doors, windows and rendering. When the school is complete the team will celebrate with the community before moving to Jwentar for the next project.